How to create a welcoming porch

I don’t know about you, but I want my home to feel welcoming to guests. A welcoming home means that friends and family will feel more comfortable during a visit and may even mean that they will be anticipating their next stay! While every room in the home can be decorated to feel inviting, the best place to start is actually outside, since the front porch is the first “room” guests will see. Here are some of my favorite ideas for welcoming guests into a home:

Offer a seatPorch_Livingroomset_Club-4

I like to think of the front porch as being an outdoor living room, where you can socialize with close friends and family while enjoying the nice weather. A porch swing is a popular choice for kids and adults alike, but if your space isn’t big enough you can also seat guests on a smaller patio chair.

Make it cozy with a rug
porch blog- rug

Photo credit: Pinterest

A rug instantly makes any room I’m in feel more cozy. You probably use a rug to cozy up the living room, so why not do the same for the front porch? A welcome mat can also look inviting, especially if you’re working with limited space.

 Add light for nighttime
porch blog- lighting 2

Photo credit: Pinterest

It’s hard to create a welcoming vibe when your front porch is completely dark. Plus, evenings are often the best time to enjoy a front porch – when the weather isn’t so hot. Try using a couple of outdoor wall lights to invite guests outdoors.

 Paint the door
porch blog- painted door

Photo credit: Pinterest

You don’t have to paint the front door to make it welcoming, but I love the idea of a a bright-colored door! If you have a small front porch, this can be an easy way to add color and style without cluttering the area.

 Complete the look with a few final touches
porch blog- final touches

Photo credit: Pinterest

A couple of potted plants, a few accent pillows on your swinging chair and a hanging sign on the door – these types of finishing touches are perfect for tying the welcoming look together.

Does your front porch invite people into your home? If not, try out a few of these welcoming ideas!

By Wendy Weinert

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

Kara Paslay Designs

It’s your turn to host movie night this month. Are you ready to put a new spin on your monthly tradition? Taking your movie night outdoors is an easy way to change things up and offer a new experience to guests. To make the evening enjoyable for everyone, keep these helpful tips in mind while planning the event.

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

1. Let guests help pick the movie

You might like horror films or romantic comedies, but that doesn’t mean your guests like the same ones. Let your friends have some input regarding what movie you watch by compiling a list of suggestions and asking them to pick their top three. Then you can pick the movie (or movies) with the most votes.

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

2. Prepare snacks and refreshments

Go with the classic movie-theater snack by making popcorn, but flavor it with fun toppings like paprika or chili powder for a unique twist. When handing out refreshments, offer them in closed bottles to prevent spills and to keep bugs from contaminating the water or soda.

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

3. Provide comfortable seating

It’s hard to enjoy a movie when you’re constantly shifting to get comfortable. If you have outdoor chairs, add a cushion or pillow to make the seat comfier for guests. If your seating area is in the grass, you can use plush blankets instead.

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

4. Keep everyone warm

As the sun drops, so will the temperature. Help your friends stay warm by sitting around a fire pit and providing spare blankets for everyone. You can then use the fire pit to make s’mores for dessert!

5 Ideas for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

5. Add light

A fire pit may be all the light you need, but if the fire dies out you’ll need to rely on a different light source. Your outdoor lighting should be soft so everyone can still see the movie. Consider an outdoor lamp or use landscape lighting to illuminate your outdoor space.

Hosting a movie night outdoors isn’t hard, but it can be an uncomfortable experience without the right setup. Use these ideas to start a new tradition and host an unforgettable movie night outdoors.

By Wendy Weinert

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

In the spring and summer months, your front and back yards are extensions of your home’s interior design. So why not spend time perfecting your outdoor space like you do your interior? Try these five outdoor décor trends to refresh your yard space and captivate all those who pass by.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

1. Mood lighting

With so many outdoor lighting solutions available today, there’s no reason to take the party inside when the sun goes down! Along with outdoor lamps and wall lights, you can use ambient lighting underneath chairs, benches and sofas to create a social environment that is chic and comfortable.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

2. A natural garden 

Gardens are all about the natural and organic. Complete your garden setup then with natural materials to create seating and landscaping. For example, you can place a concrete bench in your garden instead of a plastic chair. Then simply use accent pillows to add comfort and color.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

Photo credit: Houzz

3. Vertical gardens

If you don’t have a garden due to limited outdoor space, take advantage of your house’s exterior walls to create a vertical garden. Succulents are the best plants to grow in vertical walls because they do not need very much water or maintenance. They’re also nice to grow because they come in a variety of colors and textures, which adds visual interest to your wall.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

4. Fire pits

Enjoy a camping experience right in your own backyard with a fire pit. Like outdoor lighting, fire pits make it easier for you, your family and friends to enjoy the outdoors even at night. Plus, they come in all different sizes, so even those with small spaces can benefit from this trend.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

Photo credit: Freshhome

5. Recessed seating in the pool

Turn your outdoor space into a relaxing getaway by installing recessed seating in your pool. Recessed seating gives pools a look of luxury, and your pool will become your guests’ favorite place to relax when visiting your home.

Is your outdoor space ready for summer? If not, spruce it up with any of these latest décor trends!

By Wendy Weinert

 

Outdoor lighting design that does more than shine

53015232AGZ875WI61313-06

Way back when, all you needed for a backyard party was a little charcoal grill, some plastic cups, paper plates and bug spray. But today, outdoor entertaining is much more than that – it’s all about style and creating an ambience that your guests can savor and are sure to remember. Hosting warm-weather get-togethers doesn’t need to be complicated, though. In fact, one simple tip will go a long way in creating the perfect party environment.

So, what’s the secret? Create the perfect backdrop, then add to it.

Just as you wouldn’t pick out elements for your interior living room that clash and mismatch, you shouldn’t carelessly select unrelated items for your outdoor space. If you can tie into the overall aesthetic of your home’s exterior, so much the better.

There are a few key elements that every outdoor space needs: tables, seating, pots for plants and lighting. How you select and arrange those elements is central to creating a setting that’s more like an outdoor extension of your home, rather than any old patio in the neighborhood.

Outdoor lighting  is often an afterthought, but it should be front and center in your design process. It’s certainly a functional element – guiding your guests safely to and from your home and patio. It adds ambience to parties at dusk and after dark – plus it also presents an opportunity to create a cohesive look for your space.

For example, if you live in a classic bungalow, landscape lighting with a Mission or Craftsman touch, like the Kichler Cross Creek Path and Spread Light, will look great. Or, if your home has a classic Colonial look, the World Imports Revere Large Outdoor Wall Mount light would be the perfect complement. Paired with furniture and planters that have similar lines and character, and you’ll establish a design foundation that can be adapted to suit any soiree.

There are few things better than spending time outdoors when the weather’s at its finest. Utilize these tips and you’ll enjoy a season of sensational outdoor parties.